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Tablets

Rumor: New iPads may finally ditch the home button

Apple is rumored to release new iPads in the spring, and a Japanese report claims they will be nearly bezel-less.

Josh Miller/CNET

Apple's new iPads may ditch the home button and become almost bezel-less when they hit this upcoming spring, according to a recent report by Japanese Mac blog Macotakara.

ipad-pro-9-7-35.jpg

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is a cute little powerhouse tablet.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Macotakara has previously reported Apple's plans to unveil three new iPads next year, a rumor supported by various other analysts as well (here and here). The general consensus among these groups is that the iPads will come in sizes ranging from a 9.7-inch model, a 12.9-inch model, and a 10.9-inch (or 10.5-inch) model. The analysts also see a bezel-less future for the iPad, which seems to be all the rage among manufacturers.

The future iPads could mostly do away with the border, making the tablet all-screen except for a narrow strip supporting the front-facing FaceTime camera. That means the home button would be long gone.

Macotakara's unnamed source also says that the new 10.9-inch model will be the same size as the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro, suggesting that you could get a little more screen for the size. The blog expects the 10.9-inch model to come in at 7.5mm tick, the same as the iPad Air or iPad Mini 2. It also expects the new 12.9-inch model to be 7.2mm thick, which is a gain of 0.3mm from its current model -- possibly to store the battery an other components.

The reports expect new iPads to launch sometime next March, putting it ahead of the 10th anniversary iPhone unveiling -- assuming Apple sticks to its usual schedule. By introducing an iPad with a borderless screen and no home button early in the year, Apple could be testing waters for even bigger changes for the annual iPhone. But, of course, we'll have to wait until next year to find out.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.